The Heartland site is on 12 hectares of wild mountain land some of which was previously cultivated but has been abandoned for over 50 years, so has grown over: oak forests and orchards hidden in brambles. There is an old stone house, La Difesa on the land which is in the process of being restored and made beautiful. The vision for Heartland is an off-grid campsite producing its own organic food and a place to be a home for whoever is called to this land so there is a lot of work to get there and the superhero needs some helping hands so…
…from time to time we have work periods with volunteers coming from all over the world, many finding us through the workaway website. During this time, people come and go, which means the energy of the group is constantly moving and doesn’t stagnate. We live as a small tribe on the Earth, sleeping in yurts, bathing in wood-fired bath tubs or jumping in the river pools and cooking at the fire. A lot of food is eaten. In the evening we sit around one of the fires, sharing, telling stories and singing. It is a group process, and there is a daily talking circle where we share feelings, throughts, dreams, practical things in order to balance the space. If you are open to the process then you get more out of it and make a stronger connection to the magic of this place.
Here are some of the projects…
– yurt making: going into the forest to coppice wood, working the wood, canvas cutting and sewing
– land cultivation: clearing undergrowth, pruning, planting, mulching and watering trees, collecting cut branches for a big bonfire, creating micro ecosystems using permaculture methods, making and marking a path to the beautiful river, discovering new areas of the land, maintaining road down to the site
– organic food growing: making raised beds, garden design, planting seeds and seedlings, watering, mulching, weeding, researching and sharing information of methods and knowledge about organic food production, traditional vegetables of Abruzzo, ancient grains of Abruzzo permaculture methods and how to grow different plants, harvesting and preserving fruit and vegetables, saving seeds, olive harvesting
– campsite/event centre maintenance and development: putting up and taking down the yurts, building a wooden storage area, designing and making signs, tidying up rocks off the tracks, digging pits for waste and channels for grey water, maintaining wells and water supply, making flat areas for the tents, collecting and chopping wood, cleaning and tidying the yurts ready for guests, cooking, cleaning and maintaining the kitchen, emptying and cleaning compost toilets, lighting fires for outdoor baths, online marketing and publicity
– local village: picking fruit, clearing olive fields, clearing and tidying the roads
– old house rennovation: plastering, laying concrete and tiles on the floor, cleaning and polishing the stone walls, designing and building wooden staircase, restoring old windows, making wooden furniture, re-tiling the roof
Get in touch if you want to help us build the Heart.
And here is a blog entry by a volunteer who was with us in Autumn 2017, to give you a feel of the experience.